UDIA member Rob Marshman and Childers Chamber of Commerce president John Russo are fighting for changes to the draft Wide Bay-Burnett Regional Plan.
UDIA member Rob Marshman and Childers Chamber of Commerce president John Russo are fighting for changes to the draft Wide Bay-Burnett Regional Plan. Scottie Simmonds

Pair fights for region's future

REPRESENTATIVES from Bundaberg and Childers will head to Brisbane tomorrow to meet with state government staff and fight for changes to the draft Wide Bay-Burnett Regional Plan.

Childers Chamber of Commerce president John Russo and Bundaberg Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) committee member Rob Marshman will meet with staff from the office of economic development minister Andrew Fraser, to discuss a plan they feel is limiting and lacking vision.

“We feel that the Wide Bay draft plan has been rushed,” Mr Russo said.

“The little townships like Apple Tree Creek, Moore Park, Childers, Gin Gin and Woodgate don’t even get a mention. It’s all about centralising.”

He was also disappointed the plan made clear that the allocation of extra land for future rural residential use to allow for growth in the region would not be considered.

“They are dictating where people should live,” Mr Russo said.

“People may as well stay in the city if they’re told they can’t have a bush block.

“There is no freedom of choice. It’s the lifestyle that’s being eroded.”

Mr Marshman was concerned the plan would move to a compulsory average of 600sqm allotments for new properties, and would concentrate developments in suburban areas.

“They are stopping coastal developments and congesting into the cities,” he said.

“If you get those densities, you have to ask yourself the extent of the Queensland lifestyle they’re willing to erode.”

The pair are also worried much of the community is unaware of the implications of the plan, which they believe could impact on future business opportunities and infrastructure.

Bundaberg UDIA president David Newby and member Mal Forman are supporting the duo in their efforts.

“I support a document for a plan, but it’s got to be one that’s flexible and usable for everyone,” Mr Forman said.

Mr Newby said the consultation period was too short, with submissions closing on Christmas Eve.

The UDIA will also hold a public meeting on Wednesday, December 1, at the PCYC, Maryborough Street, at 6pm to discuss the plan.



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